DIY: String Art (With A Twist!)

You see it in stores, at friends’ houses, or at craft shows. String art has been around for a while, and there is a reason why! This customizable, DIY project makes a great gift or home décor piece.

Initially, I did not take the plunge to try it myself because it looked so complicated! But, I’m a sucker for DIY and eventually caved. I wanted to learn and I’m here to show you how to make your own DIY string art with a twist!

string art

I love seasonal and holiday décor, so I often look for ways to add to and change out my collection. This year, I decided to add to my fall and Thanksgiving décor with a DIY string art pumpkin. You’ll notice, though, that instead of only string, I also utilized paint to make the piece a little unique as well as fit in with my rustic décor.

Supplies needed:

  • Wooden Board (Mine was a plywood,)
  • Sand paper
  • Stain
  • Foam Brush
  • Paper towels
  • Small nails, such as linoleum or carpeting nails (I chose brass, about 1 inch.)
  • Hammer
  • String (embroidery floss, crocheting thread, twine, etc.)
  • Hot glue or fabric glue
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • A design

First, you need to pick your design. Words, simple shapes, or geometric patterns all work nicely. 

After choosing a design, you can then determine the shape and size of the wood needed, as well as the color you would like to stain it.

string art

In order to make the design, you will need to hand-draw or trace the design you want. It is easy to print off a design in the size you need, and transfer it onto the wood by tracing along the outline firmly with a pen, leaving a slight indent in the wood. Then, you can either make it more visible using a pencil, or just use the indent as your guide for hammering nails. I drew my simple pumpkin by hand with pencil.

string art

Next, and the part that gives the string art extra depth, I like to paint my design for a pop of color that allows me to use a natural color string like twine, giving it a more rustic feel.

Please note, you can also omit the painting step and use a colored string!

Let dry completely before you continue.

string art

Next, hammer your nails in along the outlines of your design. A good rule of thumb would be ½ to 1 inch apart, making sure that all points in the design have a nail, and that any detailed areas have a few extra nails for precision in stringing. Nails should be hammered in firmly, but with enough room to easily wrap a couple layers of thread around.

string art

Tie your string onto a nail. Almost any nail works to start on. I like to begin by outlining my design to make sure I don’t miss anything. If you are using two colors, make sure to outline that so you do not accidentally overlap. Then, begin winding the string through the design – back and forth, up and down, and around. Play with it to give it the effect you desire. As you go, you will see how the design builds. It is easy to “rewind” and start over any parts you do not like. Keep going until you have the desired look you are going for.

string art

Step back to see if there are any spots that are too heavy, or that may need another layer of string. If you are satisfied with the design, tie off your string on one of the nails. Cut the excess string off of starting or ending knots. If there is a little fray, you can smooth it down and hide it with a little fabric glue or hot glue.

string art

Congratulations, you completed your first piece of string art!

We’d love to see your string art creations!  Please share!


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